WASHINGTON - On Jan. 11, EPA alerted stakeholders that the Agency will not be granting a 60-day extension to the public comment period for EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions (PID) for Rodenticides (see background below). The deadline to submit public comments will remain Feb. 13, 2023.
EPA had received requests for the extension a number of groups, including the Rodenticide Task Force; Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials; National Pest Management Association (NPMA); CropLife America; Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment; Ag ProVision and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
J.D. Darr, director of legislative and regulatory affairs, NPMA, said the extention request was made because the volume and technical nature of the documents published to the docket requires intensive evaluation and consultation with technical experts and NPMA members who manufacture, sell and use rodenticides across the country.
"NPMA understands that the 75-day comment period was an extension to the traditional 60-day comment period; however, NPMA and its members lost more than 15 working days throughout the months of December and January due to holidays and other observances," Darr said. "Additionally, each state has comprehensive rules and regulations regarding rodenticides. Development of constructive comments will require extensive review of the potential impact of proposed changes to product labels and risk mitigation requirements."
Among the reasons EPA cited for denying the extension was a critical need for the Agency to "receive comments on the proposed mitigation measures such that it has time to incorporate any comments into its draft behavioral evaluation analyses" of the 11 rodenticide active ingredients.
Darr said NPMA and member companies have done a great job mobilizing and that state associations continue to comment on behalf of their member companies. “NPMA and its member companies are working around the clock to thoroughly review the PIDs, provide a comprehensive analysis to stakeholders, and formulate comments that highlight the impacts that the PIDs would have on industry,” he said. “NPMA has a great working relationship with EPA, and we expect that the Agency will fully consider the perspective we provide them with through our public comments.”
NPMA has assembled resources for state associations to submit public comments that highlight the unique impacts that the PIDs will have on member companies in their respective states. For more information contact Darr at email@example.com.
An resource for pest management professionals is the Rodenticide Task Force, which created a PCO summary of the EPA’s proposed mitigation measures. RTF also has developed a web page that includes background on this topic, EPA documents, videos and instructions on how to comment.
As previously reported by PCT, on Nov. 29 EPA announced its proposed interim decision (PID) on three first- generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs), four second- generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) and four non-anticoagulant rodenticides, was announced on Nov. 29. (Strychnine was not part of the 2008 Risk Mitigation Decision but is now included as part of EPA’s registration review of the rodenticide group.) Significant outcomes of this decision included:
Bell Labs Encourages PMPs to Take Action
Editor’s note: Rodenticide manufacturer Bell Laboratories issued the following statement encouraging PMPs to make their voices heard in regards to EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions (PIDs) on rodenticides.
EPA issued a PID (Proposed Interim Decision) for rodenticides at the end of November, which is a general notice of their intention to make major adjustments to all registered rodenticides. There are ten separate dockets, one for each rodenticide active ingredient, which include lengthy proposed changes regarding application and availability of what is currently commonly available professional use rodenticides.
While these proposed changes will require pest management professionals (PMPs) to alter how they purchase rodenticides and service their rodent accounts, perhaps the largest overall impact to the pest control business will be on the labor force itself. Recruiting technicians is a critical challenge our industry faces and will only become more prominent. Additional expensive training, frustrating service regulations, along with requiring almost every applicator to be licensed, will make these jobs even less desirable for entry level workers. Do not underestimate how difficult it will be to hire and retain new employees due to these restrictions. The most significant changes on how this decision will impact PMPs are listed below:
1. All Rodenticides will become Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). This means licenses to apply bait will be mandatory and will require anyone purchasing or applying rodenticide to be a certified applicator OR be working under the supervision of a certified applicator.
2. Rules will vary state by state. Some states require supervising certified applicators to be available by phone when PMPs are applying bait, while others require them to be onsite within visual contact of the applicator. States that require licenses to apply RUP rodenticides will severely restrict the entry level labor market for PMPs.
3. Distributors will need to do reporting (confirm licenses and communicate back to the state) for each and every sale of rodenticide, by applicator.
The above changes will add great expense to the any pest control company conducting rodent control. There are other costly restrictions that the EPA is suggesting for PMPs, including multiple post application carcass checks, fitted respirators for applying pellets and other loose bait, as well as thicker gloves for technicians. Professionals must also be aware of the less obvious costs that will occur. One unintended consequence will be that insurance costs will rise, due to more exposure to fines and misuse, both civil and criminal, because of the nature of restrictive use products. Recruiting labor is difficult and is already expensive work. With the additional training requirements, the amount of time and money that is needed to get a technician fully licensed grows, and so will the employee sunk costs, if the technician decides to leave. Costs for rodent control will expand exponentially if rodenticides become RUPs for professionals. Why further regulate PMPs who are already the most educated on how best to use these necessary tools, when homeowners will be able to continue buying rodenticides at retail stores?
These changes will impact every facet of rodent control. As an industry, we know how critical it is to protect the public health from disease and destruction caused by pests such as rodents, and these restrictions will simply cause more rodents, more disease, and more death.
We need as many voices as possible to create the largest impact. Please tell the EPA that these restrictions are bad for public health and bad for business. Join us in taking action right now by going to www.protectthepublichealth.com, to quickly submit letters to the EPA, as well as your federal Senators and Representatives. The deadline for comments is Feb. 13, 2022. The very last thing our homes, businesses, food production facilities, schools, hospitals and restaurants need are extensive obstacles to eliminate rodents.